Sometimes you look into the eyes of children you see a sense of hopelessness, fear, or just confusion. It could be about their current situation, their past or not seeing a difference between the two because they have never been taught or allowed to dream. Dreams awaken us to the possibilities of what life could be and sometimes it is just that possibility of living those dreams that keeps us going – young and old alike!
The notion of losing the ability to pursue your dreams has been eloquently expressed in these lines from a poem by Langston Hughes “What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / Like a raisin in the sun?” (Hughes 1-3).
Langston Hughes raises the challenges of achieving the dream, particularly but not solely, by those who exist in the poorest parts of our society in yet another poem saying “And then the wall rose, / Rose slowly, slowly, / Between me and my dream” (Hughes 8-11).
Sometimes as children we don’t know how to dream or what to dream because we are not encouraged to dream. Sometimes as children and adults we just don’t know how to get there or where there is because everything seems stacked against us like the wall or walls coming up between us and our dream(s). The wall can be racism, money, education, little or no family support, any number of things and any of these can quickly squash a dream.
It is important to dream. Important for our children because how else can they get motivated to see themselves with a future that is rich and full and I am not talking about money! Important for adults and seniors for how else can we continue to have life that is full and satisfying.
One of the greatest things we can teach our children is how to dream – dream of a world beyond the one in which they live, dream of themselves in any job they can think of, dream of themselves successful and happy, dream of themselves surrounded by friends, family and love. Teach them that with dreams they can learn, discover and challenge themselves to be the best they can be for that is the only way to make the dream a reality. Even in retirement, I still dream of all that I can do. One is never too young or too old to dream – do you?